tv Key Capitol Hill Hearings CSPAN February 10, 2015 12:00am-2:01am EST
city -- working-class wards over the city by two to one, and we won the election by all of 14 votes. it was, in fact, the biggest political upset in vermont history. and after the recount, the margin of victory was reduced to 10 votes. now, without going into any great lengths sharehere -- actually there have been books written about this -- i took office with 11 out of the 13 members of the city council, those were the democrats and the republican, in very, very strong opposition to my agenda. and trust me, if you think that the republicans have been obstructionists to the president obama, you ain't seen nothing with what happened in my first year as mayor of the city of burlington. but what happened, and this is also a lesson that i've never forgotten, by doing what we could do despite the opposition and reaching out to people, what happened is a year later the slate of candidates that i supported won a huge victory
against the people who were obstructionist. and the other lesson that i will never forget is that the year following when i ran for re-election, we almost doubled the voter or turnout. almost doubled the voter turnout from what it had been when i first won. and the lesson that i will never forget and what i believe is that when you stand up for people and you keep your promise, people will, in fact, get involved in politics. so i think it was true then, and i think it's true today. um, in 1986 i ran for governor of the state of vermont as an independent, received 14% of the vote. 1988 i ran for the u.s. congress, and in that election i was told by my democratic friends that i would be a spoiler, taking away votes and
enabling the republican candidate to win. in fact, the republican candidate did win with 41% of the vote. hydro 38%. enabling the republican-- i got 38%. democrat got 19%. two years later i ran again for congress defeating the incumbent by 16 points. in 2006 with the retirement of senator jim jeffords and with the support of democrats, i won vermont's united states senate seat against the fellow who i think was the wealthiest person in the state of vermont who spent three times more money than had ever been spent in our state previous to that. i received 67% of the vote. in 2012 i won re-election with 71% of the vote. as mayor of burlington, my administration took on virtually every powerful special interest in the city, in the state. we had a very active city attorney's office. against the wishes of the developers and the railroad, we created an extraordinarily beautiful people-oriented water
front and bike path on lake champlain, we developed the first municipal housing land in the country for affordable housing, an idea that has spread worldwide. we won national recognition for urban beatification by planting thousands of trees throughout the city, often using a lot of volunteers to make that happen. we made major improvements in our streets and sidewalks, we implemented the largest environmental program in state history by building a facility to prevent waste from going into the lake. we started a youth office which created an extraordinary daycare center, after school programs and a teen center all of which 25, 30 years later are still in existence today. we were the first city in vermont to break our dependence on the regressive property tax. we made major changes in the burlington police department to move toward community policing. we started a very active and successful arts center and women's council. and i say all of that to invite
all of you to burlington and the state of vermont. [laughter] it's a beautiful place to visit. in 1990 i became the first independent, nondemocrat nonrepublican elected to the u.s. house in 40 years. during my first year there along with four other house members, we put together the congressional progressive caucus which today is one of the largest and, i think, more effective caucuses in the house. one of my first votes in the house was a vote against the first gulf war. i believe that history will record that that was the right vote as was the vote i cast years later against the war in iraq, a war which has cost us many thousands of brave young men and women, untold suffering for those who returned and has driven up our national debt by trillions of dollars. it has also -- that war in my opinion -- has also opened up the can of worms which we now see in that region of the world
in which we are trying to deal with today. while a member of the house financial services committee, i was one of those leading the fight against the deregulation of wall street. and i will never forget having alan greenspan up there are visiting the committee, telling us how great deregulation was. i didn't buy it then, and i don't buy it now. i also opposed the free trade agreements that came down the pike, nafta, cafta, permanent normal trade relations with china. i never believed then, and i don't believe now that forcing american workers to compete against people who make pennies an hour is a good thing for the united states of america. while in the house i took on the pharmaceutical industry, and the outrageous prices they charge our people. and how it is that they end up charging us far higher prices for the same products than do the people that are charged to outrageous prices they charge the people of any other country. the was the first congressman to take americans over the canadian
border and will never forget women buying the same exact breast cancer drug for one-tenth of the price that they were paying in the united states. as a united states senator and former chairman of the veterans affairs committee as e.j. just mentioned, i worked hard in a bipartisan way with republicans in the senate, a number of senators including senator mccain, jeff miller in the house , on what turns out to be one of the more significant piece of veterans legislation passed in recent years. i also led the effort with representative jim clyburn to put some $12 billion into federally-qualified health centers which has result inside the and some -- in some four million americans, lower income americans now getting health care, dental care -- which is a huge issue in our country -- low cost prescription drugs, and i'm proud of that. with senator bob menendez, i helped pass the energy efficiency block grant program
which put billions of dollars into weatherization and sustainable energy as we do our best to try to reverse climate change. now, that is my life and political history in five minutes. let me get to something more important now, and that is the future of our country. on saturday, just this last saturday, i had been invited to speak in harrisburg, pennsylvania, and my friend and i were driving back to d.c., and we drove through gettysburg, and we stopped there for a while at the battlefield of monuments and the museum. and while we were there we, of course, saw the lincoln statues, and we read from his gettysburg address. and you all know about lincoln's extraordinary gettysburg address where he said a hell of a lot more than i said in ten times as much time as he said it.
but he said of a hope that this nation would have, quote, a new birth of freedom and that government of the people, by the people and for the people shall not perish from the earth, end of quote. what an extraordinary statement. and as we drove back from gettysburg to washington, it struck me hard that lincoln's extraordinary vision -- a government of the people, by the people for the people -- was, in fact, perishing, was coming to an end and that we are moving rapidly away from our democratic heritage into and oligarchic form of society where today we are experiencing a government of the billionaires, by the billionaires and for the billionaires. today, in my view, the most serious problem we face as a nation is the grotesque and growing levels of wealth and income inequality.
this is a profound moral issue it is an economic issue, and it is a political issue. economically for the last 40 years the great middle class of our country, once the envy of the world, has been many -- has been in decline. despite, and here's the important point to make that we have got to answer, despite an explosion of technology, can despite a huge increase in productivity, despite all of the so-called benefits of the global economy, millions of american workers today are working longer hours for lower wages, and we have more people living in poverty than almost any time in the history of our country. workers today are working longer today real unemployment is not the 5.7% you read in the newspapers, it is 11.3% if you
include those people who are working part time when they want to work full time or those people who have given up looking for work entirely. we don't talk about it. pope francis does, by the way. but we don't talk about the fact that youth unemployment in this country is 18%, and african-american youth unemployment is nearly 30%. shamefully, we have by far the highest rate of childhood poverty of any major country on earth. i hear a whole lot of discussion about family values from my republican friends but nothing about the fact that almost 20% of our kids are living in poverty. despite the modest success of the affordable care act, some 40 million americans continue to have no health insurance while even more are underinsured with high deductibles, high co-payments, high premiums. we remain today the only major country on earth that does not
guarantee health care to all people as a right and yet we end up spending almost twice as much per person on health care as do the people of any other nation. now, as all of you know, there are a lot of angry people out there. all across the country. some of them are in the occupy wall street movement and consider themselves progressives, some are in the tea party movement and consider themselves conservatives. but let me give you an explanation as to why they have every right in the world to be angry. since 1999 the typical middle class family, the family right in the middle of the economy has seen its income go down by almost $5,000 after adjusting for inflation. incredibly, that family earned less income last year than it did 26 years ago back in 1989.
the median male worker, that guy right in the middle of the economy, made $783 less last year than he did 42 years ago. while the median female worker earned $1300 less last year than she did in 2007. that is why people are angry. they're working longer hours for lower wages, they're seeing an explosion or technology, they're watching tv and seeing all the great benefits supposedly of the global economy, and they're working longer hours for lower wages, and they're scared to death as to what is going to happen to their kids, what kind of jobs are their kids going to have. are we better off today economically than we were six years ago when president bush left office? of course we are. but anyone who doesn't understand the suffering anxiety and fear that the middle class and working families of our country are experiencing
today has no idea about what's going on in the economy, and i fear very much a lot of the pundits here on capitol hill don't understand that. it might be a good idea to get off of capitol hill, go into the real world and find out what's going on with working people. meanwhile, while the middle class continues to disappear the wealthiest people in this country and the largest corporations are doing phenomenally well, and the gap between the very, very rich and everybody else is growing wider and wider. the top 1% now own about 41% of the entire wealth of the united states while the bottom 60% own less than 2% of our wealth. and this one is incredible. today the top one-tenth of 1% -- that is the wealthiest 16,000 families -- now own almost as much wealth as the bottom 90%.
one-tenth of 1% owns almost as much wealth as the bottom 90%. is that really what the united states of america is supposed to be about? i don't think so, and i don't think most americans think so. today the walton family, the owners of walmart, and the wealthiest family in america are now worth about $153 billion. that one family owns more wealth than the bottom 40% of the american people. in terms of income as opposed to wealth, almost all of the new income generated in recent years has gone to the top 1%. in fact, the latest information that we have shows that in recent years over 99% of all new income generated in the economy has gone to the top 1%. in other words, for the middle class gdp doesn't matter.
2%, 4%, 6% doesn't matter because the middle class and working families are not getting any of it. it's all going to the top 1%. in other words, while millions of americans saw a decline in their family income, while we have seen an increase in senior poverty throughout this country, over 99% of all the new income generated goes to the top 1%. an example, an example, the top 25 hedge fund managers made more than $24 billion in 2013. that is equivalent to the full salaries of more than 425,000 public schoolteachers. anyone really think that is morally acceptable, economically acceptable? is that really what our country should be about? but income inequality is not just the moral issue of whether
we are satisfied about moving in a -- living in a country where we have seen a proliferation of billionaires at the same time as millions of families are struggling to make sure they're able to feed their kids, it is also a profound political issue. as a result of the disastrous supreme court decision, the 5-4 decision on citizens united, billionaire families are now able to spend hundreds and hundreds of millions of dollars to purchase the candidates of their choice. the billionaire class now owns the economy and they are working day and night to make certain that they own the united states government. according to media reports, it appears that one family -- the extreme right-wing koch brothers -- are prepared to spend more money than either the democratic
party or the republican party in the coming elections. in other words, one family, a family which is worth about $100 billion, may well have a stronger political presence than either, either of our major parties. now, i know that people are not comfortable when i say this, but i want you to take a hard look at what's going on, take a deep breath, and you tell me whether or not we are looking at a democracy or whether or not we are looking at an oligarchy. when you have one family that has more political power than the democratic party, than the republican party which can spend unlimited sums of money not only on campaigns, but on think tanks, on media, i worry very,
very much about the future of democracy in our country. and that is why it is absolutely imperative that we pass a constitutional amendment to overturn citizens united and, in fact, why we must move forward toward public funding of elections. i want young people out there, whatever their point of view may be, who like the idea of public service to be able to run for office, to get involved in politics without having to worry about sucking up to billionaires in order to get the support that they may need. now, given the economic crisis that we face -- i talked a little bit about the political crisis, given the economic crisis and i laid out a little bit of what that's about, where do we go? what should we be doing? how do we rebuild a disappearing middle class? and create an economy that works for all of our people? last month i introduced a 12 point program that i called
an agenda for america, but let me briefly summarize it. first of all, you ask the average american what the most important issue he or she is concerned about, and the answer is a four-letter word, called jobs. we need a major federal jobs program to put millions of americans back to work. the fastest way to do that is to rebuild our crumbling infrastructure, our roads, bridges, water systems wastewater plants, airports, railroads, and schools. it has been estimated that the costs of the bush/cheney iraq war with, a war we should never have waged, will total $3 trillion by the time the last veteran receives needed care. a $1 trillion investment in infrastructure could support 13 million decent-paying jobs and make our country more efficient, productive and safer. and along with senator barbara mikulski, i introduced that legislation two weeks ago. further, we must understand that
climate change is real, it is caused by human activity, and it is already causing devastating harm. we must listen to the scientific community and not fox tv and lead the world in reversing climate change so that this planet is habitable for our children and grandchildren. and what that means, that we have the technology to do it transform our system away from fossil fuel to energy efficiency, weatherization and sustainable energies like wind solar, geothermal, and other technologies. and when we do that, we not only lead the world in reversing climate change, we can also create many jobs. we not only need to create jobs in this country, we need to raise wages. the current federal minimum wage of $7.25 an hour is a starvation wage. we need to raise the wage to at the minimum wage over any period
of years -- the minimum wage over a period of years to at least $15 an hour over a period of years. no one who works 40 hours a week in this country should live in poverty. we must also demand pay equity for women workers who today earn years to at least $15 an hour over a period$.70 of what their male -- $.78 of what their male counterparts make for doing the same work. we must also end the scandal of overtime pay. we have people at mcdonald's who make $25,000 as, quote-unquote managers who make 60 hours a week but because they are managers, they don't get overtime. further, we must make it easier for workers to join unions by passing card check legislation. in my view, we knew today to look at trade policies which have resulted in the outsourcing of millions of good paying jobs. the evidence is overwhelming. nafta, cap.com a have failed --
cafta have failed. we need new trade policies, we need to demand that corporate america invested in this country and machado. it -- and not try to. -- not china./ millions of americans are not able to afford the education they need in order to get good paying jobs. all of you know the hundreds of thousands of young people have literally given up on the dream of going to college while others are graduating schools deeply, deeply in debt. a few months ago, i met with a woman in burlington, amount. -- burlington, vermont and crime was that she decided to go to school to become a primary care doc. a result of that crime is that she is $300,000 in debt. that is nuts. and we have got to learn countries like germany
scandinavia, many parts of the world that are competing against us, people are smart enough to understand that the future of their countries depends on their education their young people get, their college education in graduate school is free. we have got to learn that lesson. free public education does not have to end at high school. president obama is, president obama's initiative for two years of community college is a good start. we have got to go further. further, as a nation, we cannot run away from the fact that the greed and recklessness and illegal behavior on wall street caused the worst economic downturn in this country and, in fact, the world since the great depression. that's a fact. i know it's easy not to talk about it, but that is the fact. today six huge wall street financial institutions have assets equivalent to 60% of our gdp. close to $10 trillion. if teddy roosevelt, a good republican, were alive today, i know what he would say.
and what he would say is that when you have six financial institutions issuing half the mortgages and two-thirds of the credit cards in this country, it is time to break them up, and i've introduced legislation to do just that. in terms of health care we have got to grapple with the fact that we remain the only country without a health care program. i believe in a single-payer system. right now, in fact, i say in this as the ranking member of the budget committee, my republican colleagues are going to begin their effort to try to cut social security benefits. they're going to start off with disability benefits and go beyond that. in my view, at a time when senior povertity is increasing , when we have millions of seniors -- and i meet them in
vermont all the time, people are trying to get by on $12, $4,000 -- $14,000 a year. we should not be about cutting social security benefits, we should be about expanding those benefits. as i mentioned a moment ago, we live in a time of massive inequality and we need a progressive tax system in this country is on ability to pay. -- based on ability to pay. it is absurd that we lose $100 billion a year revenue because corporations and the wealthy stash their money in offshore tax havens like the cayman islands, bermuda and other places around the world. the time is now for real tax reform. so let me conclude by saying this: the struggle that we're in
now is not just about protecting social security or medicare or medicaid or making college affordable to our kids or raising the minimum wage. it is something deeper than that. it is about whether we can put together a vibrant grassroots movement all over this country which says to the billionaire class, sorry, government in this country is going to work for all of us and not just the top 1%. thank you very much. [applause] >> for the cameras i've got to
connect here are hold on just a moment. -- connect here. it hold on just a moment. >> we connected? thank you, senator sanders, for that carefully-hedged, cautious political speech. [laughter] >> i was very quiet. this is brookings -- >> yeah. >> and i didn't want to -- >> this is a moderate version of the speech. i have a whole lot of questions i would like to ask. i'm going to try to limit myself to a few and then i want to , bring in the audience. i am going to have a bias. which i hope you will forgive me for. first i'm going to ask members of the media to ask questions because they're bringing this to other people, but i will open it up to everyone before we're done. i want to start with one philosophical and one political question. the philosophical question is
what do you actually think of the market economy? you know, in this long list of proposals you do not propose you know, public ownership of the means of production, distribution, and exchange, and you are very critical of the way capitalism works. but what is your view of the market economy in general and capitalism in particular? >> well, in that regard i think i come down somewhere where pope francis is. who i think, by the way, has played an extraordinary role in the last several years in raising issues internationally that have not been raised by such a prominent figure. i think casino capitalism, raising issues internationally runaway capitalism which is what we are experiencing right now, is a disaster. there is no way to defend internationally the top 1% owning more wealth than the
bottom 90% of the world's population. i think it's impossible to defend that. it is impossible to defend the incredible inequities that we see in american society today. what i believe when i talk about these issues, what i look at is countries like denmark, and we have the danish ambassador coming to vermont a year and a half ago, and it's not that the government is going to take over every mom and pop store. that is not what we're talking about. but what we are talking about is that in a democratic, civilized society, the basic necessities of life should be available to all people. not a radical idea. it exists in scandinavia and elsewhere. should everybody have a right to health care? the answer is, yes. should everybody, regardless of their income, be able to get as much education as they need? the answer is, yes. in the united states when you
have a baby, we managed some years ago to do the family and medical leave act, and you get three months off if you work for a large company without pay. how many americans know that all over the world that women get six, eight months off with three-quarters pay in order to bond with their babies? when you get old, you should have strong retirement security, stronger than we have right now. so, e.j., capitalism does a lot of good things. it creates wealth, you've got a lot of vibrant, small businesses, a lot of entrepreneurs that are coming up with fantastic ideas, that is great. but we cannot at the end of that process have situation -- have a situation where a handful of people own so much and so many people have so little. so the government plays a very important role in making sure that all of our people have the opportunity to succeed in life. >> now, you hint at this, but i'd like you to be more specific. this is a very ambitious program, a trillion dollar investment in infrastructure
broader rather than narrower social security, free higher education and so on. how are you going to pay for this? >> well, it addresses the issue of income and wealth inequality, and you're doing two things at the same time. for example, in terms of social security, everybody in this room understands that if somebody's making $10 million a year, somebody is making $118,000 a year, both people are paying the same amount into the social security trust fund. if you simply lift the cap and begin taxing not at $180,000 -- $118,000 but at $250,000, you will extend social security for decades and be able to expand benefits. in terms of other infrastructure, for example, we are losing about $100 billion every single year because corporations and wealthy people are stashing their money in the cayman islands and elsewhere. real tax reform can generate a significant amount of money which should be used for infrastructure and education. >> um, there is many years ago two folks you probably disagree with, but they made a very
interesting point, richard stanton and ben wattenberg said the problem with liberals is they often come along and say our programs have failed, let us continue. and i raise that quote because while you do say that we are better off economically than we were six years ago, you have a pretty tough litany of what's wrong with the economy as it exists. the real unemployment rate is 11.3%, youth unemployment 18%. i'm sorry, 30 -- and african-american unemployment 30% and so on. yet you voted for a number of programs to try to get the economy moving including the recovery act, otherwise known as the stimulus. if somebody listens to you and says, you know, bernie sanders is saying that the programs of the last six years haven't worked, what do you say back to them? >> compared to what? you know, i think history, and you know, i was on the floor
eight and a half hours a couple years ago in opposition to president obama's tax proposal so, you know, i have been very critical of him. but i think what you will find is that history will judge president obama a lot better than his contemporaries have. i'll tell you programs, e.j. that have not worked, and that is trickle down economics. trickle down economics, which means tax breaks for the rich and the large corporations deregulation of wall street, etc., etc., has been a grotesque failure. and any economic analysis will suggest that that is true. has the obama program, has the stimulus package worked? of course it worked. it created millions of jobs at a time when we desperately needed those jobs. so i would argue in terms of infrastructure, putting money into infrastructure and creating jobs, it's not a question of whether it works, how do you ignore the fact that our infrastructure is crumbling? so i am proud to defend in terms of single payer, health care.
all over the world -- i live 100 miles away from the canadian border. they have a conservative premier, they have a single-payer health care system under a conservative premier because it is more cost effective, provides health care to all of their people. >> but more generally, i mean, i guess when you look back on the last six years, what would you have done that we didn't do to get the economy moving to deal with some of the problems you're talking about here? >> i would have been stronger than president obama in a number of areas. i think he missed the opportunity politically of doing what roosevelt did when he was elected. and making it clear to the american people what is happening and why is it happening? when he was elected, this economy was on the verge of collapse, financial system maybe wouldn't make it. and at that point what he should have done is what roosevelt did.
he should have looked in that camera and said, you know what? what roosevelt said was the economic realists hate me, and i'm going to take them on. i think that is what president obama should have done. these people have destroyed what? what roosevelt said was the millions of lives because of their greed and recklessness. i will take them on, and we're going to rebuild an economy so that it works for all people and not just for the wealthy. i voted for the affordable care act. we managed to get $12 million into community health certains -- centers, very important. i would have gone forward trying to fight for a single payer or at least greatly expanding medicare, making it simpler, more inclusive. >> and what do you say to folks who put a heavy emphasis now on the cost of retiring baby boomers? in other words, basically you're saying that if we simply lift the cap, we can cover that problem. is that your answer to that critique? >> we are exactly where people anticipated we would be when the
last social security adjustments were made. no great surprise, people can add. they do know demographickings. -- demographics. just a couple of points on social security, because there's a lot of misinformation that dose out there. social security is not going broke. there is $2.2 trillion in the trust fund it -- $2.8 trillion in the trust fund, it can pay out every benefit for the next 18 years. social security, obviously doesn't add to the deficit because it's paid by an independent source of revenue, the payroll tax. so the answer is, yes, should we strengthen social security? absolutely. and the way to do that is to lift the cap. i would start at $250,000. >> is there a place for something like wall street in a bernie sanders economy? >> well, look, banking plays an important role, obviously, in our society. and in that i am pretty conservative. what banking is about, traditional banking is i work, i make money, i put it in the bank. i get a guaranteed interest rate, the bank then invests money into the economy.
what has happened in recent years is something radically different. wall street, instead of being the grease for the economy taking money in and getting it out to small businesses, medium-sized businesses, what wall street has become is an island unto itself where its goal is to make as much money as it can in however way that it can do it. and i don't want to, again, you know, try to be, you know, too dramatic here. i happen to believe that the business model of wall street is fraud and deception. and as you know, recently you pick up the papers every single day and there's another large bank that is fined, reaches a settlement with the government. so their job is banking plays an important role. it helps get money out to the economy. the businesses that are producing products, producing services. that is what we want from a banking, the banking community. we don't want a small number of people coming up with incredibly
complicated, speculative dangerous financial tools. and then when it all goes down the taxpayers of this country bail them out. that is what we don't want. >> by the way, the headline on the event so far is bernie sanders calls himself "pretty conservative." [laughter] i just want you to know that. i will ask this question, are you running for president and will be result be closer to the 1971 special election for the 2012 reelection? -- or the 2012 reelection? >> we are beyond 1971. i am giving thought to running for president of the united states. when the middle class is disappearing, when we have grotesque levels of income inequality when climate change threatens not only this country but the entire planet, when you have a handful of billionaires
in the process of buying a united states government and our political system, i think it is important that we have candidates who stand up for the working families of this country who are prepared to take on the big money interest. i am giving serious thought -- don't tell my wife actually. she doesn't necessary agree. >> tell her to turn off the tv right now. >> on the other hand, i also understand political realities and that is, when you take on the billionaire class, it ain't easy. and if i do something -- this is who i am, but i want to do it well and it's important not just for my ego i do it well it's important for millions of people who share the same set of beliefs that i hold. so to do it well we would have to put together the strongest grassroots movement in the modern history of this country with millions of people are saying, you know what? enough is enough. we are going to take on the billionaire class.
we're going to have a government that starts working for working families rather than just the top 1%. to be honest with you, i am going around the country and talking to a lot of people. a lot of people coming out. there is a lot of sentiment that enough is enough. that we need fundamental changes, that the establishment, whether it is the economic establishment or the political establishment or the media establishment is failing the american people. book the doubt -- but htthe gut feeling i'm going to have, decision on the draft reaches whether that willingness to stand up and fight back. if it's not i don't want to run a futile campaign. i want to run. we need millions of people actively involved. in terms of money that's all other so -- story. this is out absurd the stories. if you had a candidate who reached out and generate a lot of excitement and you had 2 million people, we are going for to put $100 into the campaign,
and by the way, in my senate race, you know my average contribution was? $45. if you had 2 million people putting in 100 bucks, that $200 million, that is 20% of what the koch brothers themselves are prepared to spend. can you take that on? i don't know the answer. maybe the game is over. maybe they have all the -- maybe they have bought the united states government. maybe there is no turning back. i don't know. i surely hope not but we have to look at that reality. >> last on that issue, when candidates run for president they often have two objectives. the first objective obviously is to win the nomination of -- when nomination and election but there've been plenty of candidates in our history who have won to advance an agenda even when they didn't win. and so obviously you've had to have thought about both sides of this equation if i run and when i run and win. but if i run and lose, how can i have an effect on the agenda of
the winning candidate which at this point on the democratic side we assume will be different -- will be hillary clinton. can you analyze the politics? and i think the politics limited measure trying to advance an agenda not simply win an election spirit if i do this and -- >> if i do this and people have to appreciate how difficult a decision that is, but if i make the decision i would be running to win. but having said that let me also tell you something about myself. you are looking at a candidate who ran four times for mayor eight times for the house and twice for the senate. e.j. new do you -- do you know how many negative ads i run it during the whole period? zero. never read a negative ad in my whole life. negative ads disgust me. in my state they don't work. if i run and if secretary clinton runs, what i would hope
would have is that we would have a real serious debate, this is a woman i respect, clearly a very intelligent person why think is -- who i think is interested in issues by the way. i think we have a debate about how you rebuild a crumbling middle-class. a debate about how you reverse climate change, a debate about the foreign policy in the wisdom of the war in iraq and how we deal with what we deal with. a debate about trade policy. a debate about wall street, and that would be i think good for the american people, to be honest with you. but it is not my style to trash people. it is not my style to run ugly negative ads. never out, never will. -- never have, never will. >> would you reregister as democrats be? that's a decision i get to me. -- >> that's a decision i get to me. as i go around the country there are a lot of people who say look, republican party democratic party, we are the same. you've got to start outside of the two-party system. a lot of people feel that way.
and other people than say you've got to run to you been in the democratic caucus, and if you want to go where the action is and you want to be in the debates and you want to get media attention and so forth you've got to run within the democratic caucus. that is at issue item talking to a lot of people about. >> we have a lot of voices. by the way, as i begin with a journalist first and i want to have my colleague, david likes of, at any point if you want to jump in now or later, -- david -- now or later, let me know. who among journalists who are here would like to ask a question? right in front. hold on. say it again. >> ben from politico. hold on. say it again.does the pressure to comprise up to hillary clinton make it harder for you to introduce or sell to voters on their own terms? >> well, i'll tell you a funny story. i do a number of interviews. often i do what i doing today, am talk about the issues that if
you are important and some were at the in sum has asked the question that hillary and i try not to attack her. usually no matter what i say it becomes hillary clinton. so to answer your question, to me if i run, what i am running on are the issues i talk to you about today, issues by the way which i think the vast majority of the american people understand and support. clearly in terms of hillary clinton, her name recognition is about 10 times greater than mine. if i run it will take a lot of work getting around the country, introducing myself to people. but i will tell you this and this is the interesting point if i may. when you look at the republican agenda which boils down to more tax breaks for billionaires and large corporations, cuts in social security, medicare, medicaid, and education, what percentage of the american people do you think support that?
i would say 10%, 15% but when you look at my agenda, massive jobs program to put people back to work, rebuild our infrastructure, raising the minimum wage, tackling climate change, we have a lot more support. so the question is how we get out of to the people and how we bring people together to go forward. >> and do you do the working families endorsement of elizabeth warren as a setback? >> well, i'm not sure senator warren is going to be running. >> do have a thought on senator warren? >> i knew elizabeth warren before she was elizabeth warren. [laughter] she was a mere brilliant harvard law school professor. and we brought senator, well, it was not senator, elizabeth warren to the town meetings and she blew me away with her ability to deal with complicated economic issues in a language that people could understand. we did town meetings around the state. i'm a fan of elizabeth warren and we worked together on a number of issues. >> thank you.
wait in the back there. -- way in the back there. >> thank you. kevin with the hill. i'm wondering if senator warren, she says she's not running for president if she were to get in the race, would that change your plans at all for 2016? >> this is kind of what media does. it likes speculation. [laughter] >> sorry. >> you will forgive me, i'm not much into speculation. >> mark, you want to come in? mark shields, up here in the middle. welcome, mark. great to have you here. >> thank you, e.j. thank you, senator. no one would accuse you of being morning in america with your presentation today. >> with a "u"," maybe. >> but what does give you hope? >> my often tells me that after i speak we have to pass up the
tranquilizers and the anti-suicide gets. [laughter] i've been trying to be more cheerful. there is another part of my speech that i often give and i'll tell you where i am. this is serious stuff. regardless of one's political views, if we sat in this room,speech mark, 30 years ago and i was -- i want to say to you, -- i were to say to you i think our country which has a terrible history of racial prejudice, in the year 2008 we would elect an african-american president of the united states, you know, what the hell, maybe reelected four years later. if we would overcome our racism into that, you would have said what are you smoking? ain't going to happen. that's what you would have said. we did it. we did it. 30, 40 years ago you had one or two members of the united states senate who were women. today, you have had, we have had states, the governor is a woman
senators are women, members of congress are women. and while we still have a long long way to go to break down sexist barriers in this country, nobody would deny that we have come a long way. i remember when i was mayor, i appointed the first woman police officer back in the 1980s. what a big deal that was. walk around capitol hill today it's not such a big deal. overcome huge barriers in terms of sexism. disability issues. when you and i were kids and families had a baby born with a disability, it was an embarrassment in the part of the family. kids were institutionalized. today we have come a long, long way as a result of the ada and other programs where kids with a disability are loved and welcomed into our schools. they are a part of our community. we have made more progress on that than anyone would've dreamed of. and last but certainly not least, and i know this firsthand because the state of vermont helped lead the effort with regard to civil unions, if you and i were talking 10 years ago
and you said i think maybe some of the more conservative states in america, gay marriage would no longer be a big deal in fear -- in the year 2015. you would have thought that would be completely crazy, right? and yet i go to kids schools in the state of vermont, the conservative parts of the state and i asked kids, what you think about gay marriage? and they look at me like i'm crazy, what are you talking about? no problem. you ask me about optimism, those are the areas, some of the areas. where we have now taken it for granted, you've got a black president, so what? 20, 30 years ago no one would've dreamed that would be possible. so i believe we have the capacity to change but i think what we're up against now, by the way, is something tougher. because you are taking on the greed and the power of the billionaire class, of the koch brothers who are out to destroy social security, medicare, medicaid, et cetera. we go back to 1920 to have the
money to try to do that. this is a tough fight but am optimistic. i think we have the capacity to bring change to this country and we have done it in recent years. >> thank you, mark, for allowing the senator to listen to his wife's advice. that was very helpful. who do we have over there? the gentleman who has his hand up. could you identify yourself? >> my name is peter. i would like to ask you your opinion on the speech that prime minister netanyahu is planning to give to congress, and would you consider boycotting it? >> yes. i think, look, again people disagree. the president of the united states heads up our foreign policy, and the idea that the president was even consulted that is wrong and not a good thing for our country. >> are you thinking of not going? >> i'm not thinking i'm not going. i am not going. i may watch on it on tv but i'm not going. [applause] >> how many of your colleagues
do think we'll do that? >> you are sounding like the media. you want me to speculate. no idea. >> i am the media. >> oh, that's right. [laughter] >> the lady in the front please. >> anything but don't ask me to speculate. >> this burden is on speculation but i appreciate -- this merges on speculation -- this verges on speculation but i appreciate your vote on the gulf war. i'm wondering what we can do and what you think we can do to stop this path we are on of endless war? >> thank you for phrasing it that way. that is exactly what my nightmare is, endless war. look, it goes without saying that this isis, it is beyond pathetic to think this is going on in the year 2015, the barbarianism we are seeing. and anyone who tells you have a -- tells you that they have a magical solution to this problem is kidding you. they don't. but wanted to believe that most important thing we can do is to demand that the people in the
region played an extremely active role militarily and politically. it will shock people in this room to know that the country that has the fourth largest defense spending in the world is not france, not the uk, it is saudi arabia. owned by a group of billionaire thugs. do you know what? that is their neighborhood and i think the united states and the western world should be very supportive but i think nations in that region are going to have to put some real skin in the game, more than they are right now. >> can you imagine a use of force resolution against isis that would be framed in a way you could vote for? >> again i don't, look, isis is beyond, what they've done to you can't even speak about it it is so horrible. i want to see them destroyed. but as this woman aptly pointed
out, there are some of my colleagues in the congress who really have in mind, and endless war. you know, god knows how many years we were in afghanistan and iraq. i was chairman of the veterans committee. we've got 500,000 men and women who came back from iraq and afghanistan with ptsd and traumatic brain injury. thousands of lives have been terribly impacted. i do not want to see an endless war in the middle east. i don't. having said that, i don't have any magical solution but i think that the part of it is regional activity on the countries foremost impacted. >> let me press you on that because this is not a speculative question. if president obama called you up and said, i know there are a lot of people in the senate and the house were very reluctant to keep edwards in the middle east, get you agreed, we agree that isis is a particular threat. can you write me a resolution that you could vote for?
>> again, the devil is always in the details and i don't want to speculate not seeing a document. i think it's fair to say i do not disagree with the air attacks the united states is coordinating, for example. what i do not want to see is the ground presence and never ending war. >> who else? a lady in the back on the aisle. those two folks on the aisle. >> leeann, sputnik international news. just had a follow-up question on what you have raised about the oligarchical trend in u.s. politics. and i just would like to know what kind of impact that has on the united states as a world leader, so how this trend in the u.s. impacts economic justice worldwide? >> thank you. that's a great question. i mean, i will answer it in a
couple of ways. first off, the way it impacts american politics, and again i don't mean, everyone knows my political views, but if you were the republican party or any group of people, you would think you would put up the keystone pipeline as your first order of business? i'm against the keystone pipeline fought it very hard. do you really think that a canadian pipeline which will provide 35 permanent jobs is the most important issue facing america's? -- americans? you would make -- that's your first bill. what you think it may have something to do with the fact that the koch brothers are major donors of leases in that part of canada? i would -- how it impacts our foreign policy is that i'm afraid people who have the money will have more influence than will ordinary americans.
i will give you one example of something where i want to applaud the president. this is not get a lot of attention. the people of greece are hurting terribly. unemployment in greece is 25 26% to the economy has shrunk by a quarter. there are people living in dire poverty right now. and right know what you are having is an effort on the part of the european central bank to greece, rather than letting the new government start implementing the agenda and the promises that it made. and president obama spoke on the issue and talked about how more austerity in a country whose economy is shrinking is not the way to go. but to answer your question globally, the problems we're facing in the united states are not dissimilar to what many of -- many other countries are facing around the world. more and more wealth and income inequality, more and more austerity.
and i think the american people have got to work with people around the world to say that when you have a handful of billionaires owning as much wealth as half of the people in this world, we need radical changes in the way we do economics. >> the gentleman right there. >> larry. i agree with most of what you say, senator. i would offer one caveat. if you're going to invite people to vermont, to burlington, do it in the summertime. >> the skiing is good. >> but, yeah, keep away from speculation i may offer this as a comment. what scares me a little bit is are you willing come if you don't go over to the democratic side, to run as a democrat would you run as an independent? only because are you willing to be the son of ralph nader speaks -- ralph nader? >> no, i will not. i will not be a spoiler. there are ways to do this but let me make it very clear.
i will not be a spoiler and elect some right wing republican. >> the gentleman in the back. somebody tell me when we are running short of time. we are at the end? this gentleman will ask the last question so you have the heavy weight on your shoulders. >> it better be a good one. senator, thank you. i've talked to some of your constituents in vermont and they said something they like about you and the charm about you is your independent nature -- john, i know. >> i believe that's the word they use to associate me with. [laughter] >> i'm keeping it nice. the fact that you are an independent, they like that. do you think that if you become a democrat to run for president does that hurt you with another -- was not only your constituents in vermont that people around the country who may vote for you like the fact that you're not good with a party by the? >> as i mentioned earlier, i think i could be wrong but i think in the last election, for example, in vermont i think we got about 25% of the republican votes, which is, i think have a
-- i think i think in vermont and around the country there are lots of people who say -- you are not a democrat or republican i don't know what you stand for. there is so much frustration with the two-party system. i am getting bolder in boulder trying to think these things. on the other hand, i am not mr. bloomberg of new york and i don't have billions of dollars. to try to put together an independent political effort, you would have to spend an anonymous amount of time and money getting on the ballot. will the media -- these are some of the issues i am wrestling. i just want to close by saying, -- "the left wing of the possible." >> i think senator sanders is
>> federal health officials will testify at a senate midi about vaccine used in the reemergence of certain preventable diseases in the u.s. we will also hear from pediatric infectious disease specialist dr. mark sawyer. it starts tomorrow at 10:00 a.m. eastern. on c-span3, bob packwood and bill bradley part of a 1986 tax deal with president reagan, will be at the senate finance committee. they will talk about possible changes to the u.s. tax code. that is also live at 10:00 a.m. eastern. >> at monday plus news conference, angela merkel and president obama talked about the possibility of sending arms to ukraine. israeli prime minister netanyahu's scheduled visit to the u.s. here's part of the news conference. >> it is important to point out that we have been providing assistance to the ukrainian
military general. that has been part of a long-standing relationship between nato and ukraine. our goal has not been for ukraine to be equipped to carry out offensive operations, but to simply defend itself. president poroshenko has been very clear that he is not interested in escalating violence. he is interested in having his country's boundaries respected by his neighbor. there is not going to be any specific point at which i say, clearly legal defense of weapons would be appropriate here. it is our ongoing analysis of what can we do to dissuade russia from encroaching further and further on ukrainian territory. our hope is that it is done
through diplomatic means. i want to emphasize here once again, for the benefit not just of the american people but for the german people, we are not looking for russia to fail. we are not looking for russia to be surrounded and contained in weakened. our preference is for a strong prosperous vibrant, confident russia that can be a partner with us on a whole host of global challenges. that is how it operated throughout my first term in office. unfortunately, russia has made a decision that i think is bad for them strategically, that for europe, bad for the world. in the face of this aggression and these bad decisions we can't simply try to talk them
out of it. we have to show them that the world is unified in imposing a cost for this aggression. that is what we are going to continue to do. the have a practice of not meeting with leaders right before their elections two weeks before the elections. as much as i love angela, should probably would not have received an invitation to the white house two weeks before an election. i suspect she wouldn't have asked for one. so -- [laughter] this is just -- some of this just has to do with how we do business. i think it is important for us to maintain these protocols
because the u.s.-israeli relationship is not about a particular party. this isn't a relationship founded on affinity between the label party -- the labour party and the republican party, this is the u.s.-israeli relationship that extends beyond parties. it has to do with that unbreakable bond that we feel, and our commitment to israel's security, and the shared values we have. the way to preserve that is to make sure that it doesn't get clouded with what could be perceived as partisan politics, whether that is accurate or not at is a potential perception. that is something we have to guard against. i don't want to be corny.
-- to be coy. the prime minister and i have a very different view on iran sanctions. david cameron agrees with me and other members of a negotiation agreed that it does not make sense to sour the negotiations a month or two before they are about to be completed, and we should play that out if in fact we can get a deal. if we can't get a deal, then we will have to make better decisions. as i have said the congress, i will be the first one to work with them to apply even stronger measures against iran. but what is the rush? unless your view is that it is not possible to get a deal with iraq, and it shouldn't even be tested. that i cannot agree with, because as the president and i
looking at what the options are if we don't get a diplomatic resolution. those options are narrow and they are not attractive. from the perspective of u.s. interest, and i believe from the perspective of israel's interest although i can't speak for the israeli government, it is better if we can get a diplomatic solution. there are real differences substantively. but that is apart from the whole issue of mr. netanyahu coming to washington. >> you can watch all of that news conference with president obama and german chancellor merkel later in our schedule. , the louisiana bible -- up next, the louisiana governor bobby jindal. later, jim slattery on his recent trip to iran. >> the political landscape has changed with what hundred 14th congress.
not only either 43 new republicans and 60 new democrats, there is also 108 women in congress, including the first african-american republican in the house and the first woman veteran in the senate. keep track of the members of congress using congressional chronicle on c-span.org. it has lots of useful information, including voting results and statistics about each session. new congress, best access, on c-span, c-span2, c-span radio, and c-span.org. >> next, bobby jindal tells a group of reporters that he is in favor of the u.s. providing the ukrainian government with weapons. governor jindal is also asked about a possible white house run an education policy. the christian science monitor hosting this event.
>> good morning. thank you for coming. he was our guest most recently in 2004. i'm glad he's come back. he graduated from brown university at age 20 with degrees in biology and technology and studied as a rhodes scholar and turned down acceptances to harvard medical school and law. he became head of louisiana's 13,000 department of health and hospitals. at 27 he became executive director of the national bipartisan commission on the future of medicare. then came a two-year tour as president of the louisiana system, which lead to president bush nominating him as assistant secretary of health and human services.
the first indian american elected to the house. the youngest in the nation at that time, and it was re-elected with 66% of the vote in october 2013. the governor and his wife are the parents of three young children. thus ends the biographical portion of the program. as always, we're on the record here. please no live blogging and tweeting. this will give us time to listen to what our guest says. to help you resist the selfie urge, we will email pictures. we will start by offering our
depeft an opportunity to make opening comments. the floor is yours. >> thank you all for allowing me to come back and speak to you again. it is a changing sign of the times. we talked about selfies. at the hotel gym this morning, there was a sign saying no pictures of any kind taken, and there was an exception, "only selfies." we have released papers on how we can become more energy independent. our foreign policy, investing in defense, as well as on repealing and replacing obama care and a more conservative approach to health care. today i am here with our fourth paper talking about k through 12 education reform.
there are many reasons we should be concerned about the status of education. another report over the weekend talking about if america were to close the gap of where we are today in canada over the next several years we could add trillions of dollars to our economy. there is a report from stanford university talking about the fact that if we had better teachers in our classrooms, a more effective teacher can improve the average earning of that student by thousands of dollars. better teachers can do things like not only increase average earnings but also reduce teenage pregnancy rates and increase the odds those children will go on to college. there are many, many reasons. i won't belabor this. there are many reasons why america lags behind other countries on national comparisons. there was a time when our education system was the envy of the world, just as there was a time when making model t's was
the envy of the world. just as other sectors of our economy has adapted and changed, so too has our educational system changed. it no longer makes sense to use a top-down, one-size-fits all approach. i also make the argument, it is not just economic reasons we should care about education. there is a lot of talk about what this can do for our economy. as a self-governing public, it is essential we teach the next generation to be informed citizens. that is the ability to make decisions when they vote for the rest of us. there is a moral imperative why we should care about the quality of education being offered in our country. we offer three main themes of
how do we improve education in america. it is fashionable to say we have quality education in america. it sounds good and we all like to believe the circumstances of your birth don't influence your education. the problem is, it is not true. if you are wealthy, you are likely to move to neighborhoods with great schools or have the ability to save the dollars you need to send your kids to private school. it is disproportionate to low income families that are trapped in failing schools that don't have the opportunity to get a greater education. that is absolutely critical that the circumstances of your birth don't influence your education. one of the biggest obstacles of changing that is the democratic party. they like to say they are for educational opportunities. the reality is they are stopping children from getting access to a great education. i would argue this is largely because they have been bought and paid for by teachers unions.
they have been opposed to basic concepts like school choice. we don't argue there is one silver bullet. our point is that every child is different, so let's allow the parents to make the best decisions for their sons and daughters. they know the needs of their children best. i know there is fierce resistance to this idea. we had, for example, the union leader in louisiana that said parents don't have a clue when it comes to making choices for their kids. i find this offensive and the exact opposite of the approach that we need if we are going to change education. the second thing is the quality of the teaching. we need to change how we put great teachers in classrooms. lower barriers to entry, higher barriers to retention. we need to move away from these union dominated of paying, hiring, and firing that are rewarding teachers based on how long they are breathing rather than how well they are doing. i don't repeat the data of what
a great teacher can do to improve lives. there are great things we can do to improve, reward, and encourage the best teachers and keep them in our children's classrooms. third and finally, we need to take power away from the federal government. we need to restore these decision making authorities to the local and state governments. there are a variety of ways we can do that. we talk about, for example, the current debate of no child left behind.
we talk about block granting to make sure dollars benefit students instead of buildings, bricks, and mortar programs. in moving power away from the federal government, that's the debate today about common core. it makes no sense to me we would have a block to testing and standards. it makes no sense to me that folks in d.c. know better than parents teachers, and local leaders. in the beginning when people were opposed to common core, it was fashionable to dismiss them as crazy, conservative right wing. then it was the teachers. and now there is a third group the parents. the more people are being exposed to the way math is being taught or this idea that for the first time the federal government would be making curriculum decisions that should be made at the local level, i
think the more people are exposed to common core, and more and more people are demanding it be taken out of the classrooms the more the federal government stop trying to force common core down the throats of local teachers, local parents and students. to me it is not just repealing from common core, it is guarding against this next generation of federal take-over and content. i think many people that advocate for common core think if you are against common core you are against standards. i think that's ridiculous. you can be against common core less government, empowering teachers. this is what we need to do to improve education in our country. it is important to have a citizenry able to make those decisions. i'll talk about the new orleans experience, the louisiana experience.
i know my time is up, so i will leave that for the questions but if we don't get to that material, i would encourage you to look through the report. there are several statistics and studies showing the benefits of choice and what it can do to improve the quality of a child's education. with that i'll stop. >> i'm going to do one and two. then we will go to jonathan easly, susan paige, and betsy rockstein. >> isn't it ironic that you are discussing education given the way you cut education in louisiana. as you know, there are two tough pieces by "politico" and "the new york times." one thing they mentioned is that your cuts have been the deepest of any state over the past eight years on a per student basis. they say there are 1,000 fewer full-time faculty members.
is there an irony about ramping up education when you are cutting it. >> sure. funding has gone up to $3.6 billion this year. we have actually not cut k through 12 education. it has gone up on a per student basis as well. we have increased teacher salaries as well. the total higher education budget, including means of total finance is actually a little bit slightly higher than when i took office. it hasn't increased as much as k-12 education. that is true. the reality is this. just like other states during the great recession we faced an issue of what to do with declining revenue. we also cut income taxes. the largest income tax. we made the decision.
as a result our budget is 9 pill bill smaller than when i took office. we have 31,000 fewer state employees than we have had in decades. we also have the strongest credit rating we have seen in decades. more importantly, our private sector economy is stronger than it has been in a generation. for example, since i've been governor our job growth is three times the national average. our economic deproth is two times the national average. right now you have literally $60 billion in private sector firms coming into the state for jobs. we have made a decision to cut spending but also to grow our private sector economy. when you talk about higher education respectively, we have seen retention rates at l.s.u. highest graduation rates we have ever seep. we have also seen some very good things happening. we increased higher education funding by $100 million.
an over $40 million investment in the w.i.s.e. fund. we made a conscious decision to cut spending, cut taxes, grow the private sector economy. >> "the national journal" talked to jeb bush after a speech in detroit. one of the topics was education. the governor said "13,174 government run school systems is not the appropriate model of governance for this incredibly diverse group of kids that comprise the next generation of americans." i know you don't want the government controlling curriculum. do you think there is need for consistency in academic expectations and standards if the united states wants to compete with other nations like
china? >> yes. and this is an important topic that has come up quite a bit. in my plan i talk about the fact that the penned lump -- pendulum has swung too far that will now instead of just the test you have the test, the pretest, and the test pre-pretest. you see a crowding out of social studies, music, and art and other subjects in our classroom. let's remember and understand, though, this testing arose for a very legitimate reason. there is legitimate concern that you had many poor students and others that were getting left behind and weren't getting access to a good education. we were also seeing kids being promoted without mastering a year of material. i think the pendulum has swung too far the other way. we still say, look, when there are private tax dollars involved, we do say, yeah, we understand the need for annual testing so there is transparency so parents can make meaningful choices so you can have accountability.
two things should be changed. one, we call it a benchmark. there are ways you can compare a variety of tests so if a student is taking one test you can see how that student does compared to other states and even other countries. many private schools are accustomed to using other norm tests instead of assuming everyone has to use the same test. secondly, we also call for more aggressive wavers and flex -- waivers, especially for schools that are performing well. for example, if they want to use a.p. tests or other measures to show students are learning instead of this one-size-fits-all approach for testing. i think there needs to be accountability but i call for trusting parents. we call for letter grades. in our state we give letter
grades in the schools a through f. right now some of the accountability is so complicated people don't understand how their child is doing. with a through f standards it makes it easier for parents to know how their child is doing. so more accountability and not a one-size-fits-all approach. >> my question is, if a republican presidential candidate supports common core should conservatives view that as a disqualifier for them seeking the presidential nomination? >> i think it will be a good debate to have. i don't think -- if republican voters want to vote for a candidate that supports common core, i suspect they will have that option. i also suspect if they want to vote for someone against common core, they will have that option. i think this is a good debate in
the federal election. do we want to see more federal involvement in our classrooms? you will see that in the debate over common core and in no child left behind. title 1 and other interventions, how should that funding be delivered? we talk about a backpack model where the dollars intended to benefit students, including students with special education needs but all students, follows the child into the classroom. because of seniority based staffing how differently kids with special needs are taught. all of which are factors that are supposed to result in more funding don't always get those dollars. to go back to common core, i think it will be healthy for the party and the country if voters get to vote for candidates they want, not against, and they have
a diversity of combruth. i think this is important. what is the proper role of the federal government? do we trust the bureaucrats in d.c. or parents and local teachers to make these decisions? i come down on the side of local teachers, local parents. not thinking it is better to have a group of bureaucrats in d.c. making these decisions for us. >> this is a two-part question. do you think jeb bush is electable in the republican primary? and then my second question, i'm wondering if you think the united states should arm the ukrainians. >> the great thing about america is no one decides the election but the voters. it is not up to the experts or political consultants or fund raisers to decide who gets to
run. if jeb bush were decide to become a candidate, i'm sure he would be happy to make the case for his views for the electorate, whether common core or other issues. if i were to run, one of the issues i would look at would be not only this issue of common core. i'm all for the repeal of getting it out of our classrooms, but also making sure there is not another intrusion from the federal government into our classrooms. not only getting rid of common core, but giving block grants to the states. when we did school choice, we did president choice. the federal government under president obama tried to stop us. in our state 90% of the children are lower income. so i think whether someone is electable or not is up to the
voters, not anyone in this room or anywhere else in d.c. what is the role of the federal government? i think that's a good debate to have. i trust parents. as for the ukraine, i am glad to see president obama and angela merkel are meeting today. i know there are people that favor the united states providing arms and more assistance for our allies in the ukrainian government. i am for that. i think president putin needs to change the way he looks at ukraine. we know he went to crimea in part because he didn't fear real repercussions -- repercussions. i think he felt the white house would lead from behind. i think it is good the german and french leaders are talking about tougher sanctions. what i worry about is even if
they are successful in coming up with a new agreement with russia, with the separatists the reality is the last agreements have not been respected by russia or the separatists. so i think anything we can do to change the internal calculus is a good thing. that can be increased assistance to the ukrainian government. i think we should work with our allies, but i also think we should arm the ukrainian government. it is long past time to do that. they are our allies. they are committed to strong relationships with the west, with europe. they are a democracy.
they are a country that wants its territorial lines to be respected. i see no reason we should not arm them or work with them. at the same time i think it is good our european allies are talking about sanctions. i think it is a good idea that the president is talking to the german chancellor today. the reason i am for providing the arms is that i think we need to change the calculation in russia. the problem today is our allies don't consistently trust us. when you look at putin's decision to go to crimea, i would argue this goes back to 2009. this president unilaterally withdrew the -- this president and then secretary clinton famously tried to reset with russia in terms of resetting that relationship that obviously didn't work. i think what putin read in all of that was weakness. what he saw from those moves is he neither feared no respected
the leadership in the united states. as a result, i think he felt it was a good move for him to go into crimea. and now you see further incursion in the violence in eastern ukraine. i think part of the way we can provide assist -- the first way is to provide assistance to ukraine and also sanctions. >> there is a debate in the republican party if the primary process makes it more difficult for republicans to win the election. jeb bush said he has to be prepared to lose the primary to win the general. do you see a tension between winning the nomination and winning the election? >> no, i think there is a
concern. there is this ideal belief that if we could have fewer debates if we can have a gentler process, that would be good for the party and good for the nominee. well, you know what? democracy is messy. i know they may not like the fact that we have a number of qualified candidates, and by the way i'm partial to governors who have actually run something as opposed to our current president. i don't think we can afford more on-the-job training. i think it is better to have voters make the choice. it is better to have an open and honest debate. by the way, a tougher nominating process didn't seem to help then senator obama when he was running against senator clinton. there were people back then on the democratic side saying she
should have dropped out or suspended her campaign early yemplet i think the reality is the president of the united states is an extremely important job. we want these candidates to have the policy, depth, expertise character to do what is a very very difficult yet a very important job. so i think in a republican -- in the upcoming republican primary, i hope there is a fierce and open contest of ideas. i would encourage those that get in on the democratic side to avoid the ad hominem attacks. the reality is i think republicans are concerned about the direction of our country. they are looking for big change, the restoration of the american dream. i also think, we can't just be the party of "no." we have to be the party of solutions. some of those ringing their hands about the nominating process, what they really mean is we just need less conservative voters less conservative candidates.
i think that's nonsense. i think the reality is, america doesn't need two liberal parties. there is nothing wrong with having a principled candidate that shows the american people he can solve problems and help our country move forward. i think a lot of those folks complaining about the process are really concerned that they really want to repeal obama care and really wants to get rid of obama care. i am glad it is not the donors the political class, i'm glad the voters get to decide. >> last week there was a content of a blogger that was releasing a portrait of you that makes you look white. how do you feel about that? >> you mean i'm not white? i'm shocked with this whole revelation. i think the reality ways -- i
think the left is obsessed with race. i think the dumbest thing we can do is judge people by the color of their skin. i think that the left is devoid of ideas, and this is unfortunately what they have resorted to -- name calling, dividing people by the color of their skin. this is nonsense. we are all americans. one of the great aspects of our country is that we've been a melting pot.
it shouldn't matter whether you came here five minutes ago or 100 years ago, it doesn't matter. we're all americans. i'm not naive. i know any society comprised of fallible human beings is going to be imperfect. but my point is this. dividing people by the color of their skin is one of the dumbest ways to divide people. i know there have been comments. there was something on msnbc that made a silly comment about me and race as well after i gave a speech in london. it's all nonsense. i think it is -- if people don't like what i said in london let's talk about the idea. looking at people by the color of their skin is silly. it is one of the dumbest ways to debate people i've ever heard
of. >> you didn't answer my question about your steve of staff. do you agree the blogger was race-baiting by releasing the portrait of you. >> i have no idea. i didn't read the tweets. i have a state to run, i have a day job, i have three kids at home that i help my wife to raise. the whole idea is silly. the painting in question is owned by a constituent. it will go back to this constituent. i don't think i've met the artist. the bottom line is that dividing people by their race is silly. if it helps you, you are more than welcome to put in any article that you write that i'm not white. it really doesn't bother me. >> the last time i saw you was in charlotte after the 2012 election you made a pronouncement that the republicans need to start --
>> i said about nine other in my top 10 list, but that's the one people seem to remember. my son was so concerned that we say a bad word on tv. we teach our kids they are not supposed to say those words, put money in the jar. i finally put a limit on it because it kept showing up on tv. i think we have to be more interested in policy based solutions. it is not enough just to criticize the president, not enough just to say no. i think we still have more work to be done. it is not enough to say we want to repeal obamacare, we have to talk about how we want to replace it. it is not enough for me to say i'm critical of this president's approach of trying to block the d.c. scholarship program or our
scholarship program or wisconsin's under a different attack, but rather to say, how do we actually improve education? i am against common core, but how to we encourage competition and quality. when it comes to energy, it is not enough to say we need to drill more, but there are other things we need to do to harness energy at home. when it comes to foreign policy, it is not enough to criticize this president in terms of staying behind israel or stopping isis, we need real ideas of how to do that. i think there is more work to be done. i would like to see more of our candidates give serious thought to their policies or positions. people ask me all the time whether i'm thinking of running for president. i'm certainly thinking about it. but i'm also thinking of how this country should respond to the major policies in education.
we have talked about hysteric. i would hope anyone, republican or democrat, would also give serious thought to these challenges our country faces. i think we are making progress. i think we have work to do. i think the important thing is we give serious thought to the problems facing our country, whether it is $18 trillion debt, obama care. it is more than bumper stickers, it is offering detailed ideas, and conservative ideas. we don't have to be weaker versions of the other party. we can be consistent to our own principles that help the middle class know their children and grandchildren can enjoy the american dream. >> you were talking about your interest in running for president, thinking about is it, and being partial to a governor as a nominee.
since most governors say they want to do for the country what they do for the state, why would taking a state which had a billion dollar surplus to a projected deficit qualify you to run for president? >> i think it is a little more complicated than saying governor's will do for their country what they did for the state. i think it is talking about their view of where they want to go -- the country to go. if you talk about ronald reagan, they have made real priorities as opposed to just giving good speeches, as our current president. if people want to look at my record, talk about the fiscal track record. we have actually reduced the size of the state budget $9
billion, 26% over fewer state government employers. we balance our budgeted every year without raising taxes. i think that's something we need in washington, d.c. secondly, the private sector economy. the economy has grown twice as fast as the national economy. our job growth three times the national job growth. our private sector job creation. we have had 51 months in a row of year over year job creation in our state. we have an incredibly strong job sector economy where every business friendly ranking publication has done. we have gone to our highest ever ranking since i've taken office. there are other metrics showing our private sector has done well. third, you look at state education reform. 90% of our kids are in charter schools. we have doubled reading and math in the last few years. when you look at the kids in the last few years going to a
failing school, it was over 65% before katrina and now it is 4%, record high graduation rates in our k-12 as well as higher ed. we took our charity system and done public-private partnerships going all the way back to huey long. it used to take 10 days to get a prescription in baton rouge, it now takes 10 minutes. we have babies going home from the nicu with full wait. we avoided thousands of babies having to spend time in the nicu, which is great for those babies, those families, and the taxpayers. ethics reform is actually number one in the country. across the board you see a state that was, when i took office after katrina, a state with a stagnant economy, inequality in educational opportunities, 25%
of people moving out of the state rather than moving in. today we have more people living in louisiana than ever before, more people working there than ever before, seven years in a row of people moving into the state as opposed to leaving the state. i think we have made big changes. most importantly though, we took on generational challenges, and i think folks in d.c. are looking for leaders that will be honest with them, even if it looks like they will be attacked by the media and the left, they are looking for states to make big changes. i would argue this country is headed in the wrong direction right now. foreign policy, economic policy, and a number of other areas. and that's the short answer of my talking about lieu lieu. >> putting on your statesman's hat, if you could, tell us what one achievement changed barack
obama's, you, bobby jindal appreciate. >> there have been changes in education i do support. i this administration and artie duncan and president obama both have been supportive of charter schools. i think they have been supportive in changing the way of how we reward and hire teachers. i think they have been supportive of accountability. there have been times they have gone against what the teachers have wanted. what i would argue with is they haven't gone far enough. they do deserve credit for being in favor of charter schools, they deserve credit for new approaches to teacher hiring and firing. my biggest complaint about their approach to education is they
don't go far enough. they will fine with charter schools, but they aren't really fine with full school choice. we have done a lot of things in louisiana. we lifted the cap on charter schools for people that have been successful in charter schools, to lessen the contract, and also closed down ineffective charter schools. but that's not enough. you have to go further on teacher certification reform and you have appeal common core where i have been most disappointed in them is their strong support for common core. i do think they deserve credit with their support for charter schools and some of the reforms they have done in teacher evaluations. another area i would like to praise the president and first lady in specific in, joe biden as well, one of the priorities i know they have made is to help returning troops, help veterans, transition into private sector jobs. they have led the effort. they called attention to the need to, for example, reduce excessive state regulations that
prevent veterans from transitioning to good paying jobs. in some instances, for example arguing that -- a specific example -- someone in the military that's had experience driving larger vehicles, making it easier for them to get a c.d.l. when they come back home and become gainfully employed. i know that is something we enacted in louisiana as a state law as well. that is something they have been implementing, and i know that is something the president has talked about in the context of next year as well, not just for veterans but for others that face obstacles for veterans regaining employment. i am proud to say we have acted, but i know a lot of other states also have acted. they have done a good job encouraging states to act. i know every year they meet them, they will pass out scorecards, which states have enacted them, which haven't. i think that's a great idea.
>> you talked about the role of the federal government as kind of the larger debate over common core. you are not attacking jeb bush directly, on the other hand you are kind of railing against common core supporters and the rationale behind that. this kind of starts a larger conversation with this party, is that common core a starting point for that larger debate? >> absolutely. i think a conversation that's been going on for a long time. common core is an excellent opportunity for us to review the role of the federal government in general. i think no child left behind review is a good time to do that. i was never a fan of no child left behind. now we have a chance to reverse. look at the outcome. since 1970, you look at federal spending on education. you look at national spending.
it has gone up dramatically, even as outcomes have gone largely flat. you look at non-classroom employment, it has also doubled, even while the student population has only gone up 10%. we have seen a massive involvement of federal spending, a lot more hiring outside the classroom, and more flat outcomes. i think the department of education's budget needs to be reduced, it needs to focus on civil rights, it needs to focus on deregulation, and then so many of its dollars need to be cut or block granted so it does not have the dollars to continue -- for example, it should be conditioned race to the top funding or no child left behind waivers. part of the problem with this administration's approach to no child left behind is they have
waived adoption of this president's education reform. that is an improper use of power over what should be local decisions. they are using the coercion of federal funding in states for incentives, and i think that's wrong. i think we will have a conversation first with the republican party and then the states, to. do we trust parents? do we make the -- we hear union leaders saying they can't trust parents. i think that is wrong. i think the better idea is to trust parents. empower them with choice. they know the needs of their kids most. they are not one of many stake holders. the parents of the children are the reason we have an educational system, so absolutely, i think that common
core will be one more reason for us to have this bigger debate or conversation about the proper role of the federal government. >> could common core be one of the benchmarks for whether you are for -- >> i think it is an important example of where folks stand not only in common core, but also the role of federal government in education. i think voters will end up making that decision. i reject the idea that someone in d.c. gets to decide what qualifies or doesn't. that's why we have this messy long nominating process so voters get to kick the tires. i hope voters will get to vote for a candidate instead of against a candidate. voters have to prioritize what's important to them, as opposed to what issues are secondary. i think limiting the role of federal government in education is very important.
i think the bigger issue is the role of federal government in general. i gave a speech last week about common core. i made the point of, let's put this in the context of, we're in a debate that some people think americans aren't smart enough to pick their own health care, they aren't smart enough to know when they have drank enough big gulps. there are some on the left that think people aren't smart enough to live their own lives and have their own freedoms. i think within that context, what is the role of government? i argue we should trust the american people is to make their own decisions and live their own lives. >> governor just a few weeks ago
sitting where you are sitting, senator rubio was asked about governors as opposed to senators being federal candidates. >> i suspect he had a different answer. >> yes. he made an interesting point sort of unique, is that his own foreign -- his take on foreign policy would match any governor's. my question is, who do you turn to for advice on foreign policy? >> i don't want to disrespect him. my -- i'm partial to a governor because of their executive branch experience. i think the most important approach to foreign policy, i have read widely over the years, i have talked to former secretary rice, and i have read many of the writings of
secretary kissinger, and many others, and i don't want to point to one source, but my point is this. i think there has been a bipartisan consensus post cold war that a stronger america leads to a safer world. our enemies need to fear us, our friends need to trust us. we need to have the military might to deter any threats to america and to our interests. that consensus seems to be fraying in recent years. you see that i would argue that we have made too deep cuts in the pentagon's budget. you go back to secretary gates' analysis. it was the last time within the department there was a bottom up approach of what the department really needed in terms of equipment, training, and resources. unfortunately this is becoming more partisan as opposed to a bipartisan consensus. i think that a return to that traditional foreign policy of strength, of peace through strength of what we need as a
country, it is a truism, but it is a cliche. the best way to avoid war is to prepare for it. we are currently projecting to too many people less preparedness. the danger to america is we are facing more asymmetrical threats. you see the potential of one day-lewis nukes. it is knees asymmetrical threats. that would argue for a stronger and more robust ability for us to defend ourselves against the multitude of actors. i have not seen that in recent year. we have a weak foreign policy that doesn't emphasize deterring our enemies. what worries me most -- i know we talked about ukraine and russia -- what worries me the most is what happens with iran. a nuclearized iran is not only a
threat to israel, it poses a threat to the free world, make no mistake, a nuclear-armed iran doesn't stop with them. we will have countries like egypt and turkey that will be able to obtain nuclear weapons. it will be hard to stop them, if we fail to stop the iranians. i assume we have agreements with pakistan. i don't know that for a fact. they have the ability to buy that technology if they agree to. i worry what message the iranian leadership is taking from america's response to putin, from america's initial response to isis, to our failed and inconsistent process when we talk about a red line in syria and other hot spots around the world.
when it comes to foreign policy, i did spend some time offering a detailed paper of where i think we ought to go. in addition to investing in our military is the need for us to remember the best way to avoid war is to prepare for it, and the best way to deter our enemies is to have the strength not only to win but to dominate any enemy. one of the things i think the president said was right was his pivot to asia. i think he followed through on it. this idea that there are many countries in asia that are interested in working with america. some of those are traditional allies like japan. others have not been consistent allies. i think it is important that the president went there at an important moment. i think there are many countries i think there are many countries in asia that want to
work with america because of the rising influence of china. i think that is good for them and good for us. i think there is a bipartisan opportunity. when you look at the transatlantic opportunities. both of those are different in the details of be very important. i think there is an opportunity for us to engage and strengthen our relationship with our allies. i think it is good the president talked about those trade deals, ideas he could work through with the -- the idea is, that could be good for us not only economically, but it can also help with our foreign relations as well. >> so you don't have your own kissinger advising you? >> we have a number of people we talk to and consult with. there was no one person i would say is a determinant influence. i prefer to talk to a wide array of people and make my own decisions. >> [indiscernible] what factors are you still weighing at this point?